CM: I’m still learning how to make CorelDraw do what I want.


RM: Well, Crystal, I think the image above speaks for your success at sending it. You did it! As for the image itself, it’s very nice, and I congratulate you for learning so quickly to draw it in CorelDraw!

One very important observation: it is CRITICAL that all the lines match up — no gaps between triangles and sides of other triangles. If they don’t match, your corners will not match when you sew, and the spiral will look lumpy and disconnected. I know you are working on this, I just want you to understand how important it is.

Good job!

CM 7/5/07: This is a rough draft but it’s the one I have in a format I can send to you easily so I hope you can get a general idea. While I like the looks of the 5 spiral design on paper, the 3 spiral works up better in cloth. The test petals I’ve sewn have the center triangle offset toward the inside of the petal instead of in the middle, which I like much better. And I agree with your suggestion of making them each a little different so am implementing that. I’m also thinking I’ll back each petal so they can be appliquéd on in the center with the outer part unrestrained. How does that all sound?

Crystal flower

RM 7/5/07: Crystal it looks good, and you’ve anticipated something which I was about to mention to you: that with all those seams meeting the edge of the petal you had the potential of a lot of bumpy edges — not very graceful. Your solution of backing the petals (like a facing, I assume) is a good one. Which even raises the possibility of applique-ing this flower in three dimensions….

CM: Here’s a picture of a petal. I put a quarter next to it so you can get an idea of the size. It’s fully faced so the edges are nicely finished all the way around. And I pieced it onto cotton batting so the triangles each have a little “puff”. I’m going to do the next one with polyester batting to see how it is with a little more loft. I figured being as I intend the petals to be attached just toward the center, I should give them each some body by adding batting.

Crystal petal 1

RM: Wow, Crystal, you weren’t kidding when you said you wanted to work in miniature. Facing the spirals — what an original approach. I can’t wait to see the completed flower! 🙂

Crystal full flower

CM 7-8-07: Here’s a full flower’s worth of petals just laying next to one another with a makeshift center. What do you think?

RM 7-9-07: I think it’s adorable! Every time I look at this I think I don’t want to see it hung flat on a wall, I want to see it standing in a vase full of beautiful spiral flowers. Will there be leaves and a stem? Spiral leaves — hmmm — interesting way to make the veins and texture of a leaf….

The blue rhinestone pin I’m sending will be just the color for the center, if it’s not too big…..

CM 7-13-07: Took a little break from the flower so thought I’d share with you what I did with one of my failed petals. Now I just need to find some pond fabric, I guess.

Crystal duck

RM:  Crystal, I can’t imagine why you’d think of these blocks as “failures.”   I love the duck — how cute is THAT!

CM 7-29-07: Thank you for sending the flower pins – they are just so sparkly! The smallest is the only one that doesn’t completely overwhelm the flower due to size but I’m thinking it doesn’t really work either. What is your opinion? Seems to me it needs something with a little less pizzazz. Any suggestions?

Crystal flower with pin

RM:  Crystal, the pin doesn’t look so sparkly in the photo — but maybe in real life it is too sparkly.  It’s your work, your design, so do what you think looks best.

CM 9-25-07:  Here it is – the end result at last! This has been a great experience – thanks again for including me! You were absolutely right on using one for the center of my flower – how beautiful it is now – not too glitzy at all.

Crystal final flower

RM: Crystal, it turned out great! I love all the mixed techniques — piecing, applique, printing on fabric and jewelry embellishment!  And I agree totally with the message about flowers . . .     Thank YOU for participating in this adventure! 


30 Responses to “Crystal Marie”

  1. crystal Says:

    I’m learning CorelDraw (finally – a really good thing) so progress is slow. I’ve made a few draft patterns so am getting the hang of it – not always sure how I get what I do so replicating my successes can be frustrating but, all in all, I feel I’m moving right along. I’m leaning toward nesting spirals as I’m finding I like working with 3 or 4 sided shapes the best.

  2. RaNae Says:

    Crystal, I’d be really grateful for any info you want to share about CorelDraw, as it’s not a program I have, so can’t write much in the way of instructions for it. I’d love to know how the instructions I’ve written for PhotoShop or Illustrator translate into CorelDraw — do you at least know what to look for?

    I’d love to see some of the designs you’ve done….

    Nesting spirals will work with ANY shape, so don’t limit yourself to 3 or 4 sides because of that.

  3. crystal Says:

    RaNae – With your permission, I’ll have my husband look at your PhotoShop and Illustrator instructions as he’s way more familiar with CorelDraw I am and may be able to pick out what is applicable across programs. And as I become more CorelDraw proficient, I’d be happy to share anything I figure out. At this point, it’s basically just trial and error on my part. Though my husband has a good grasp on the program, I am pathetic at explaining to him what I am trying to accomplish so often my result is not what I’m trying to achieve. But I’m excited to finally have the incentive to learn what it can do – I tried to discipline myself to learn it previously but with no clear project in mind, I quickly gave it up as too cumbersome. Then I started drawing spirals by hand – hmm. All of a sudden, CorelDraw looked pretty good!

  4. crystal Says:

    Seems I’m a day late and a dollar short, as they say. While playing with CorelDraw the past 2 days, I came up with some mandalas and then started to focus on a Dresden Plate – but alas, it has now been posted. (I suppose if I had just learned the silly program when my husband told me what a great tool for me it would be, I wouldn’t have so much trouble making it create what’s in my mind.) But I’m also intrigued with cubes (or boxes – both open and closed) and have also been working on that. I guess my adult onset ADD is coming in handy once again. So how about cubes/boxes? Do you see any design future in that idea?

  5. RaNae Says:

    Crystal, there’s room for more than one spiral mandala in the world. I’d love to see what you’re up to. Are you still thinking about working in miniature?

  6. crystal Says:

    Yes, I’m still leaning toward miniature. I may hate myself, however, when the microcsopic piecing starts! I guess I need to figure out how to send you some of what I’m drafting. Right now I’m still at a disorganized stage with the drawing but they’re getting better and I should have something to share soon. I suppose you can’t open cdr files if you don’t have the program so any suggestions?

    Everything you send me should be in .jpg format, 4″ wide at 75 ppi.

  7. scowlkat Says:

    Crystal, just a hint about using CorelDraw. You can save the file as an Adobe Illustrator file which RaNae can use or many other formats. When saving your file, use SAVE AS. Then in the box where it defaults to Save As type CDR, hit the down arrow and you can scroll through the many format options.

    Hope this helps. You will love Corel Draw when you become better acquainted with it!

    By the way, I can’t wait to see your miniature. I am way to insecure to try one but absolutely love miniature quilts.

  8. crystal Says:

    Thanks, Debra, for the tip on how to convert the cdr to a different format for RaNae.

  9. RaNae Says:

    Yes, Crystal, I did get your photo, but got home with Devi so late from the fabric store, chocolate store and pasta restaurant (Oh YEAH! All the decadences!) that I didn’t have time to download/answer, and now today the computer where I’m working won’t let me download for some reason….

    An idea that comes to mind as I write this is that just as the petals in a real flower are slightly different in form, it might be nice to make the five petals of your flower each slightly different, which would give them a more organic, natural feeling. Something to think about.

  10. crystal Says:

    Hey RaNae – I’ve been sewing today and the five sides are not producing even close to the result I want. A triangle, however, seems to do the trick. So what do you say?

  11. crystal Says:

    I love the idea of leaves! Didn’t think of it before but that is just what it will need. Don’t think a stem will be desirable in the setting I’ve planned. I’m assuming the leaves can be something other than triangle? I’ll probably applique the leaves completely down while the petals will just be attached toward the center. But who knows? The leaves may have a few ideas of their own!

  12. RaNae Says:

    Well, I’m sure that you and they will reach a happy collaboration! 🙂

  13. yogib2 Says:

    Crystal…what a leap. Your flower is stunning! I love the idea of having dimension in the flower petals…what next? Job well done!


  14. scowlkat Says:

    Wow! I love your flowers and to do it in miniature – well you are a creative genius – and probably a little crazy? HA! Love the idea of the facing. Can’t wait to see this completed!

  15. crystal Says:

    Thanks for the nice comments! Though I’m having fun, this has been a challenge at times and I appreciate feedback on my efforts from others also involved in the process. I’m so happy I was selected to be part of this group!

  16. joaninga Says:

    Love your flowers Crystal. and the colors look perfect together. Your project in miniature will be outstanding when it’s finished I’m sure.

  17. ksoppelt Says:

    Crystal, I absolutely love miniatures, and the flower is fabulous! Wow!

  18. marian15 Says:

    How pretty. I love the color choices and the concept of thebutton in the center (but would probably use a different button – I know this isn’t your final choice). I think it’s going to be a great project.

  19. yogib2 Says:

    Your bird immediately reminded me of the Puffins we saw in Alaska! Great use of, I think it’s RaNae’s Radiance fabrics. I love a “great mistake”.


  20. crystal Says:

    I’m glad you like the duck, RaNae. Just the head was a failed flower petal – got it done and realized it was a duck’s head instead. So I drafted the body to match. I’m pretty pleased with it – the head was my very first spiraling attempt. The body was a little challenging as it starts with a triangle that works it’s way up to a pentagon. This spiraling stuff has limitless possibilities!

  21. crystal Says:

    Yes, Rhonda – the duck is made with RaNae’s Radiance fabrics. Felt so lucky when I found them at my new (and only) LQS! I actually got a whole set but only had the 2 colors the day I started “spiraling.” Plan to go back tomorrow for more – just can’t have too much! I intend to let my 8 grandkids pick out their favorite for their handprints on a granny quilt I’m making myself later this summer.

  22. sqtdenise Says:

    Awesome Duck!! Way to go Crystal!!!

  23. scowlkat Says:

    Love the duck! How creative you are!

  24. devi7 Says:

    Wow, I love to see the incredible creativity. The flower and duck are wonderful and different!

  25. maryreddington Says:

    That duck needs to get packaged and sold as a pattern! It’s awesome and colors so vibrant! Great talent in developing that.

  26. marian15 Says:

    The duck is adorable; I was thinking this technique is good for feathers.

  27. crystal Says:

    I call my quilt Sustenance and it measures 13″ x 15″. The flower is made of 5 triangular nesting spiral petals. Each petal is approximately 3″ in both width and length, with the smallest triangles measuring 1/4″. The petals were foundation pieced onto cotton batting (for body and dimension), backed with black (background) fabric and hand appliqued into place onto the background that was machine quilted in a simple crosshatch (wanted a nice compliment that wouldn’t fight for attention). The leaves were also hand appliqued into place while the quote was created using computer and inkjet printer, then attached by machine. The beautiful flower pin (thank you RaNae!) finishes it off with a gorgeous, glittery center.

    This has been a great process and I’m very pleased to have been included. I decided early on that I wanted to make spirals in miniature and started by designing a 5 sided nesting spiral . (Well actually, first I had to learn CorelDraw but that’s another story!) Once I pieced a petal, however, I realized that 5 sides was too many (was too big and looked like a duck’s head, which was a happy accident – so I took time out to design and piece a body to go with it) and changed to just 3. I’m really pleased with the final result and plan to do more spiral quilts (especially now that I’ve learned to use CorelDraw).

  28. quiltfee Says:

    WOW – what a duck! Why don’t you send it to RaNae to include it in the book?


  29. crystal Says:

    Unfortunately, the duck is not even close to complete. So sad, I know. I had visions (delusions?) of getting a pond made but it just wasn’t possible. I will finish it soon, just not in the next month or so.

  30. RaNae Says:

    If anyone wants to see where Crystal’s quilt is coming from, check out her family’s business website. There’s a link at the top left corner for info about their home. Imagine having to hike 1.5 miles up 1200′ elevation change just to get to the car. I think the hydroelectric generator is pretty cool…. But the best part is the scenery!

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